Dublin South: Senator dropped in deep waters of Bermuda triangle
Published 18/02/2011 | 05:00
MARIA Corrigan laughs heartily when she's asked how she gets on with the Fianna Fail hierarchy -- before delivering a tongue-in-cheek diplomatic answer.
"We have a wonderfully supportive headquarters," the senator told the Irish Independent.
Fianna Fail HQ did its best to make Ms Corrigan feel unwanted in the immensely competitive and volatile Dublin South constituency, nicknamed the 'Bermuda Triangle' because so many high-profile political careers appear and disappear there.
After waiting for months to ratify Ms Corrigan's nomination as the sole candidate selected by the local organisation, the party also tried to parachute in a star candidate on top of her.
But both cabinet ministers Mary Hanafin and Barry Andrews refused to budge from neighbouring Dun Laoghaire, leaving Ms Corrigan as the sole candidate.
After solidly holding two seats and pushing for a third in Dublin South, through the late Seamus Brennan and fellow former minister Tom Kitt, for the past 25 years, the party is now struggling to hold on to one.
Ms Corrigan was an unsuccessful third candidate in the past two general elections, so she's no novice.
Before the last election Mr Brennan noted the constituency had the biggest employment centre in the country in the Sandyford Industrial Estate and the best transport system with the new Luas line.
The notoriously volatile electorate of suburban, southside Dublin responded in kind.
But Ms Corrigan admits the climate is vastly different to 2007.
"It's a profound change in such a very short time -- even in terms of engaging on the doors. It's about job creation and it's about people struggling to pay the bills," she said.
Ms Corrigan is up against heavy competition to take a seat. Fine Gael's Alan Shatter and Olivia Mitchell are expected to retain their seats, with the possibility of a third seat being won by new candidate Peter Mathews if the party is pressing for an overall majority. Labour's senator and barrister Alex White and diligent councillor Aidan Culhane are also thought to be in line to win a seat.
But after that, it's anyone's bet who takes the final seat.
Alan Shatter TD
Olivia Mitchell TD
Eamon Ryan TD
Sorcha Nic Cormaic
PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT
LAST TIME OUT
- Seamus Brennan tops the poll, followed by Tom Kitt for two FF seats.
- Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell and Green Party’s Eamon Ryan also returned.
- Alan Shatter wins back his Fine Gael seat at the expense of PD Liz O’Donnell.
- SEATS 5
- ELECTORATE 101,059
- VOTERS PER TD 20,211